Lovebug Season – Keeping Your Car Clean
If you’re dealing with lovebug season in Florida, then you know how annoying they can be, how messy than can make your car. Within you’ll find some helpful tips to prevent their incursions from ruining your freshly washed vehicle.
What Are They?
Despite their name, the “lovebugs” that plague Florida in swarms most commonly from April to May and August to September, are not very well-liked insects. Also known as the “honeymoon bug” or “double-headed bug,” these march flies attach themselves to a mate and fly in tandem. Generally anywhere from 6 to 9 millimeters in length, lovebugs are actually a species of fly with black bodies and red heads. The time they spend as flies is very short compared to the time they spend as larvae, and while they’re a terrible annoyance for drivers, they don’t cause any physical harm to you or your pets.
What’s the Problem?
Attracted to the gas fumes emitted by vehicles, swarms of them can not only affect your visibility while you’re driving, but they can damage your car’s paint and engine. While driving, lovebugs can enter through your radiator and get caught in your engine, clogging up the parts. In the most extreme of cases, their bodies can coat the car’s grill enough to disrupt airflow and cause your engine to overheat. But even if they’re dead, hours in the Florida sun damage the paint on your car by turning acidic and eating away at it.
If you want to get the best results and keep your car as undamaged by lovebugs as possible, wash them off your car’s painted surfaces as soon as you can. If they happen to be on your windshield, avoid the massive temptation to give them a blast of wiper fluid and swipe them away, as that will just squish them and spread their interior and exterior parts all over your windshield. Yuck!
You can also use a high-pressure washer like a hose with an adjustable nozzle to blast them off if they’ve gotten really stuck on there, but if you know you’re going to be driving in a bug-infested area, you’ll want to take along a squeegee and some water to remove them ASAP. For those of us who are going to be on the Florida Turnpike, there are service stations that have high pressure washers.
Failing a high-pressure washer for stuck-on lovebugs, very hot water and soap can do the trick. Soak the affected area with a sponge or cleaning rag and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen the bugs. Then, go back and wipe clean. Repeat as necessary.
There are also commercial products such as Clay Magic, a car care product available at auto part retailers and local chains, Super Clean, Simple Green, and Spray n’ Wash. Melamine foam (often sold as “Magic Erasers” commercially) has also been said to be very good at removing lovebugs from your car.
Lovebug Season Prevention
No one can deny that the best method of cleaning is not having a mess to clean at all! Some recommended tips for preventing lovebugs from getting stuck to your car are a fresh coat of wax or baby oil. Many stores also sell deflector shields and protective screens that you can mount on the front of your vehicle.
Some community users have also testified in some online forums about spraying the front of your car with WD-40 or Pam cooking spray before driving. However, with Pam cooking spray, you have to be careful because it will dry, get sticky, and can be very difficult to get off.
If you’d like further great tips like this, look no further than Total Pest Solutions. We have your safety and pest prevention in mind.